Gitmo Lawyer Julia Tarver Mason: Aiding, Abetting … and Not Talking
Richard Pollock tries to interview Mason, but a mystery man in a giant SUV nudges him off her trail. Literally.
March 16, 2010 - 1:16 pm
Last August the Washington Post revealed that the John Adams Project had covertly photographed up to 45 CIA field agents who had interrogated captured terrorists. Three John Adams lawyers went to Guantanamo and showed their clients the pictures of the interrogators, identifying the CIA agents and contractors. There are federal laws against outing CIA agents to the public, let alone to terrorists whom you are attempting to have released.
In the spirit of the John Adams Project, which believed exposing intelligence officers to be in the public interest, I wished to interview Ms. Mason on Monday, believing it to be in the public interest to expose the lawyers aiding and abetting terrorists. The following facts were obtained from public records.
Mason gave a handsome campaign donation to Barack Obama during his primary fight — the maximum donation of $2,800 — via Paul, Weiss.
Mason once clerked for Judge Sonia Sotomayor before she was on the Supreme Court, and publicly admired Sotomayor. During the nomination process, Mason told the Washington Post: “More than anything, I would call her a legal purist.”
Mason lives in an exclusive area of Alexandria, Virginia: she is listed as the sole owner of the house, which she bought in 2007 for $2.65 million. In 2010 she will pay $20,034.85 in taxes. The lot is wonderfully meandering, 30,532 square feet. (You can see it from this splendid aerial view.)
Mason is listed as the sole owner of the house, but a White Pages survey says Samuel A. Mason, a retired Episcopalian minister, also lives there.
As I waited outside the home to attempt an interview with her, I met a friendly and welcoming man who told me he was Julia’s dad. I told him I was a reporter who wanted to talk to his daughter about Guantanamo. His face darkened momentarily, and then he told me she was still asleep. I told him in a friendly way that I was happy to wait. He walked quickly inside.
Then an SUV drove up, and a woman who wasn’t Julia arrived. About twenty minutes later she came back outside, this time taking Mr. Mason’s dog and a second dog for a walk. As she was returning, I told her I wanted to talk to Julia about a Wall Street Journal article about her in today’s edition. The woman was gracious and thanked me.
At about 7:30 a.m., another man walked out, who identified himself as guest at the house. He entered and exited the house three times. At 9:00 a.m. one of the three garage doors opened. Finally, Julia.
She screeched out of her driveway in a late model Infiniti. And we were off. I simply wanted to ask her a few questions, and I assumed she was heading for Route 395 North towards Washington, D.C., to Paul, Weiss. So I followed leisurely behind her onto North Pickett Street. We stopped at a red light.
That’s when I noticed a giant gray Infiniti SUV on my tail. Instead of turning left towards 395, Julia turned right. The gray SUV hugged my tail. Suddenly, the large SUV pulled from behind me, jerked to my left, passed me and cut me off in my lane. He sandwiched himself between Julia and me. We traveled a few miles through Alexandria, following each other like teenagers going to a party.
Then we got to a light and Mason, her friend, and I pulled into the far left lane. This road led to an alley. When the light turned green, Julia drove to the left — but the gray SUV just sat there. Other cars behind me honked, but I knew what was happening. When enough time elapsed, he slowly inched into the alleyway.
I decided to continue. I followed him for miles until … well, we came right back to the house, where he used his remote control to open his garage door and drive right in. He got out of the car, looked at me, then closed the door.
It appears Mason learned some evasion tactics while hanging out with terrorists.